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Kiss and tell

It'll be a battle of the bands both onstage and backstage, with headliners WILL SMITH and GWEN STEFANI each using a 20-person marching band to help with their sets at Kiss 108's annual concert today at the Tweeter Center. The radio station has added more acts, including the Pussycat Dolls, BRIE LARSON, the Click 5, and BABY BASH, to the bill, which also features JOHN LEGEND, Black Eyed Peas, and JESSE McCARTNEY. . . . Kiss Concert artist HOWIE DAY performed yesterday at a preconcert breakfast for listeners of MATT SIEGEL's morning show. . . . During the show, the Tufts Health Plan shed will host an acoustic performance by Bowling for Soup. . . . Singer GAVIN DeGRAW was in town for the Kiss Concert a bit early and performed at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School. He played the Boston Harbor Hotel last night. . . . DJ JAZZY JEFF will spin at the concert's after-party at Vinalia.

Men in tights . . .

Senator JOHN KERRY will once again ride his bike 90-plus miles from the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston to Hyannisport today. Fellow riders report that Kerry, a ride regular, is an awesome athlete who finishes the sometimes arduous course in good time. (Kerry was slated to attend last night's BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN concert.) The Hyannisport Challenge, founded by TONY SHRIVER -- EUNICE and Sargent's son -- benefits Best Buddies, an organization that helps developmentally disabled youth. Tony Shriver will ride part of the course, as will Patriot TEDY BRUSCHI and actor DAVID CARUSO, star of ''CSI: Miami."

. . . gals in dresses

Fashion designer CAROLINA HERRERA brought her collection to town for a show to benefit the Gillette Center for Women's Cancers at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute that was hosted by Red Sox player TROT NIXON and his wife, KATHRYN, and team captain JASON VARITEK and his wife, KAREN.

Spied around town

Atlanta Braves pitcher TIM HUDSON ate lunch the other day at Fugakyu in Brookline . . . The American Repertory Theatre openedits production of Eugene O'Neill's ''Desire Under the Elms," with a party that drew CHRIS COOPER and MARIANNE LEONE COOPER, former New York Times columnist ANTHONY LEWIS, and Harvard President LAWRENCE SUMMERS.

Former ''Cheers" star JOHN RATZENBERGER was in town this week shooting ads for his fall benefit event, Newport Under the Stars. Ratzenberger stopped by Cheers on Beacon Hill to see owner TOM KERSHAW.

Invasion has begun

'We'll be counting the grosses for a while. It's an absolutely remarkable number. It seems like the industry got kick-started.' -- Bruce Snyder, 20th Century Fox, on the record-setting ticket sales ($50 million in one day) for ''Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith."
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